OK so before I go into my review lets look at some information on what is a fire piston and how to use one, for this we went right to someone who has been creating and selling them right here in the good ole USA, Camp Fire Pistons,
What is a fire piston?
Fire Piston Consists of a hollow cylinder ranging in length from about 3 to 6 inches sealed at one end and open at the other. A piston with an airtight circular seal ( o-ring) is fitted into the cylinder. The piston has a handle on the end to allow a firm grip to be applied to it, or a large enough surface area to strike it sharply without causing pain while the cylinder is braced against a hard surface, and it can be completely withdrawn from the cylinder. The fire piston generally has a notch or recess on or in its face, into which a piece char cloth is placed.
The compression of the air when the piston is quickly rammed into the cylinder causes the interior temperature to rise sharply to 500°F This is hot enough for the char cloth in the piston face to ignite. The piston is then quickly withdrawn, before the now-burning tinder depletes the available oxygen inside the cylinder. The smoldering char cloth can then be removed from the face of the piston and transferred to a larger nest of fine kindling material, such as Jute Twine, Paper Towel , birch shavings, etc. The ember is then fanned or blown upon vigorously to create a flame, at which time various stages of larger kindling can be added until built into a proper fire.
How to use a Fire Piston
Step 1: Apply a SMALL amount of lube (vaseline) around the entire o-ring Slide piston into the cylinder a couple of times to spread the lube
onto the cylinder wall. Clean all the lube from the end of the shaft, especially the tinder cavity. Remove all the lube from your fingers before
starting next step.
Step 2: Load a small amount of Char Cloth into the tinder cavity in the end of the piston shaft. Don’t over-pack the tinder cavity, use just enough to make it stay in the tinder cavity.
Step 3: Slide the piston into the cylinder about a quarter of an inch or so and get a good grip. As FAST as you can, push the piston in as far as
it will go and pull it out in ONE MOTION..making sure the piston goes all the way to the bottom then QUICKLY removing the piston
SPEED is the key! …the faster the better chance you have for getting a “live coal”
Sometimes placing the Barrel on a SOLID SURFACE and striking the piston with the other hand making sure the piston goes all the way to
the bottom then QUICKLY removing the piston
Step 4: Blow on the live coal to make it grow and extract it from the tinder cavity using a small stick. If you fail a few times in a row, you should clean out the cylinder and start over.
Technique IS the KEY Like any Tool It Takes Practice before you get good at using it. With some Practice you will get a live live coal each time you use it.
So now that we covered basic operations and what exactly a Fire Piston is , I know most of you are saying what, how is this going to make fire ????? Well I received my Fire Piston today and proceeded to figure this thing out right away. First impressions , this thing is solid and well made, a bit bigger then I thought coming in at 2 oz and 4 1/2 in long (both pieces together, plunger & base tube). The Wood (I ordered the Hickory) feels nice and the finish is smooth and over all not bad looking. I do plan on ordering an aluminium Piston Just for comparison, but with out actually having both units on site alone I would think the wood unit would be easier to hold and grip thus aiding in the overall effectiveness of the piston. (see photos for comparison)
Well Did it work ?
I read all the included materializes carefully, followed all the instructions, this step is important in the correct operation, at first the actual piston part seemed to go into the combustion tube with little resistance at least not enough to cause the energy we needed to light the char cloth, but once your properly lubed everything up you immediately feel the difference. Now it was down to business, I gave a good hit and nothing but as the instructions state to practice. So I did and I am proud to tell you , IT WORKED , me and my 13 year old Kylie were excited to see that glowing ember of char cloth, and before long the both of us were becoming pros at it, getting a good combustion of the air and lighting the char cloth every time. Today its kinda wet and windy outside But we do plan on making a Video review and demo video here the next week, cant wait.
I would like to thank the folks over at campfirepistons.com for there help and also would like to announce that we are going to be giving a free piston away to someone who like our facebook page reads this post and comments below. more info coming 3-20-18 check us out online and on Facebook.
If you would like purchase your own CampFire Piston just go here.
A couple pointers:
- Read & Follow setup and instructions
- Good Char Cloth
Pretty simple and to be honest quit ingenious. It was a fun time with the kids seeing who could do it the fastest.
Thanks for reading ,